World Smile Day

World Smile Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateOctober 4, 2024
2025 DateOctober 3, 2025

World Smile Day

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World Smile Day History

World Smile Day celebrates the simple and powerful act of smiling as a means of spreading kindness and positivity. The focus of this observance is to encourage people to engage in acts of compassion and promote happiness by sharing smiles with others. The intention behind World Smile Day is to highlight the significance of bridges of understanding that a simple smile can create, transcending cultural, linguistic, and geographical barriers.

The origins of World Smile Day can be traced back to commercial artist Harvey Ball, who created the iconic yellow smiley face in 1963. Initially intended as a cheerful symbol for an insurance company's internal morale-boosting campaign, the smiley face soon became a cultural phenomenon and an enduring symbol of happiness. In 1999, Ball established World Smile Day to remind people of the profound value and impact of smiles in fostering goodwill and human connection. This observance holds particular significance for Americans, as the smiley face is a widely recognized symbol of American popular culture and has inspired countless imitations and variations, including the use of emojis in digital communication.

In America, World Smile Day is observed in various ways, ranging from organized events such as smile parades or flash mobs, to simple acts like giving compliments and friendly gestures throughout the day. Many people choose to volunteer or donate to charitable organizations, supporting causes that promote happiness and well-being in their communities. World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of every October.

World Smile Day facts

  • A Duchenne smile is a full smile involving all the facial muscles. It is named after 19th century French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne.
  • Even a forced smile can lead to a mood boost. The physical act of smiling releases dopamine in the brain, which gives feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
  • Contrary to popular belief, smiling does not take more effort. It usually takes 12 muscles to smile and 11 muscles to frown. Some studies suggest that we may use as many as 43 muscles to frown.
  • Share your smile with the world. It's a symbol of friendship and peace - Christie Brinkley

Top things to do in the US for World Smile Day

  • Perform a kind act for family, a friend, or even a stranger.
  • Tour the World Smile Day Headquarters in Worcester, Massachusetts. The city is known to celebrate World Smile Day on a grand scale.
  • Visit an event or party themed around happiness and smiles. Check out local communities or social media for events happening nearby.
  • Participate in charity events that donate to causes that spread joy, such as providing dental care to those that can’t afford it.

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